European helicopter manufacturer AgustaWestland and Russian conglomerate Oboronprom last month signed an agreement for a civil AW139 final assembly line near Moscow, less than six months after announcing the project’s outlines.
As negotiations continue between Eurofighter and the four European partner nations over the Tranche 3 buy, reports are proliferating that Italy and the UK are trying to offload their previously planned purchases to third parties. British newspapers have reported that Oman might take 24 Typhoons and Saudi Arabia up to 48 more, adding to the 72 that the Kingdom has already purchased (the first of which flew recently and is shown above).
Alenia Aeronautica officially launched the technical activities associated with the so-called Green Regional Aircraft today in Caserta, Italy, where representatives from some 25 program partners met to plan methodologies and procedures, times, deadlines and the project’s budget.
Finmeccanica’s Alenia Aermacchi division is launching a competition to find a nickname for its M346. The division’s CEO, Carmelo Cosentino, said the first low-rate initial production (LRIP) example flew on July 7, and that the aircraft is 700 kg lighter than the prototypes, giving it “much better maneuverability.” Aermacchi hopes to attract 35 to 40 percent of a market for around 2,000 advanced jet trainers over the next 25 years.
Boeing and Alenia Aeronautica have signed a letter of intent to build a composite recycling facility in southern Italy. Along with partners Milled Carbon of the UK, Italian-based Karborek and the Italian agency for new technologies, energy and the environment (ENEA), the two companies intend to “advance industry knowledge.” New applications could include automotive, civil engineering and sporting goods, among others.
Student pilots from the Republic of Singapore Air Force (RSAF) have begun basic flight training on the Pilatus PC-21 advanced turboprop. Twelve aircraft have now been airfreighted to the RSAF’s Flying Training School at Pearce airbase in Australia and re-assembled. The remaining seven are due for delivery next month. They are replacing Alenia Aermacchi S-211 jet trainers that are now nearly 25 years old.
Although neither the UAE nor Singapore has yet chosen their new jet trainer, both have now eliminated the BAE Systems Hawk from consideration. They continue to evaluate the more modern Alenia Aermacchi M-346 and KAI/Lockheed Martin T-50 Golden Eagle. These setbacks have caused BAE to refocus the Hawk sales campaign on upgrades and through-life support.
Alenia Aeronautica has extended its C-27J “exclusive propulsion system provider” business with Rolls-Royce from 42 AE2100D2 engine/Dowty propeller assemblies under a 2006 contract to a “total guaranteed volume” of 155. The U.S. Armed Forces may extend its requirement from the current 78 aircraft to a potential 145 machines. The C-27J has been ordered by Romania and is in service in Bulgaria, Greece, Italy and Lithuania.
HCL Technologies, a $4.9 billion company that in three decades has grown from a garage-based start-up (Hindustan Computing) into India’s fifth largest IT company, has been selected by EADS as a tier One partner to support the activities
Alenia Aermacchi’s first pre-production M-346 lead-in fighter trainer made its official maiden flight on July 7 with Aermacchi chief test pilot Olinto Cecconello at the controls. The jet, painted in “Finmeccanica red” in a nod to Alenia Aermacchi’s parent company, had made three previous flights, all occurring the week before the first official public flight pictured here.